Strolen\s Citadel content. 
The Wu Xing Beasts
Lifeforms  (Unique)   (Any)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-26 07:26 PM
A high quality Weaver sub from the Leader of the Guild himself! Masterfully formatted and with great pics that add to the piece (although I did not specifically hand out bonus marks for them) despite not original work by the author. Also, as a Chinese and the author of the Fengshui sub, I think this piece captures the Chinese vibe very well at the start with the Legend on Quian Kun and the descriptions on the lifecycles of each beast.

However, I agree with Gossamer that it is easy to get lost with this sub b/c the system is such an integral part of the creatures. Despite having much greater familiarity with the system, I also had one fleeting moment of feeling lost with the sub even though I'm not technically lost and I keep getting the urge to scroll up to the cycle diagram to check the dominant, submissive and diminishing elements for each creature (Granted, I've been asked specifically to check logic etc. but if it wasn't the case i.e. if this was just released w/o my input, I feel that I would still get the same urge somehow) and I too found that a bit distracting. Go to Comment
That Which is Forgotten
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - In General)
Moonlake's comment on 2010-12-22 07:57 PM

Certainly a very high quality piece. Overall, I don't think I can really suggest any useful suggestions for improvement. Oh, one minor thing, the sub mentioned in the 4th paragraph something abt his "access to the nets" was limited. I thought this referred to the Internet or some such equivalent in which case it would be better to capitalise the "nets" bit else there may be a slim chance (very slim) that the reader might wonder abt it meaning something else (as I briefly did but then again maybe it's just me)

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Lifeforms  (Constructed)   (Any)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-22 07:16 PM
I was a bit torn over whether to give it a 3.5 or 4 when I first read this but I slept on it for a day and now I've decided to vote for the higher one.

Overall, I do think the piece is well-written. I really liked the intro. The idea itself- ravens that can blow up corpses, I'm sort of so-so. At one pt, it did cross my mind that it's not clear why the Raven v.10s want to blow up corpses, a pt that Dossta already mentioned. But then I came up with a reason for it myself that this is a way that makes their feeding on carrion meat easier (i.e. for a normal raven, they need to peck at the corpse but if they can blow the corpse up, their food will already be in a size that's easily consumable) so I didn't deduct any pts from this. What really lost me was the Mistake section with its description of the fight b/w the two opposing sides. What I mean is I get the gist of it but all these refs to the Merthians, Ostarians etc. sort of just got over my head a bit (could be b/c I'm down with a cold at the moment) and this made me want to stop reading this sub. But then the "no one noticed" bits did save the day b/c I found that they have some sort of poetry flair that adds to the flavour of this piece. And also, what definitely sealed in my higher vote was the the idea that the mating b/w a normal crow and a Raven v.10 gave rise to the Raventens. Personally speaking, I just really like the idea that what occurs in natures sometimes is and could be way more terrifying than what humans could construct thru science.
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The Dreaming Chamber
Locations  (City)   (Other)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-26 07:54 PM
It took one day to decide on my vote for this particular sub. First of all, let me say that I think this is a high quality sub that fits easily into my 4+ range and I think the whole piece is on the whole well written. The reason that it took me so long to decide on my actual vote, though, is the fact that as I read this piece, there are some sections that give me an adverse impression (I admit to being a bit nitpicky so by 'adverse impression' I don't really mean anything big, really just minor pts and actually I think they are related to you being relatively new to Citadel, I will explain below). 

This might be a personal thing with me but I found the descriptions of each of the ghostly types at the City and some of the game mechanics info. distracting. I understand they are necessary as GM notes but they disturb me from a good legend abt a lost city that I thought I was reading. I think these could be addressed by some re-formatting. For example, you could put these two warnings in a blockquote and maybe move the ghostly type descriptions somewhere else (for example insert an asterick and then submit the ghostly types as a user-submitted idea below the main sub in that white space under Write Your Idea). I understand you might not be familiar with any of the formatting things I just talked abt, a useful reference on this topic is Strolen's CSS Demonstration Sub which can be accessed from the I'm Helping tab under the Library drop-down if the link here doesn't work. Also, I would prefer it if you put that bold note on adding maps in the future either at the very bottom or the very top b/c it disrupts the flow a bit b/w the two paragraphs on what the PCs could do inside the Dreaming Tower.

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Gold Wind Weed
Items  (Potion)   (Magical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-23 09:11 PM
Despite a non-smoker myself, I have quite a fondness for this item since I'm of a forgetful personality myself and tend to misplace things. Go to Comment
Weed of Illusions
Items  (Potion)   (Magical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-23 10:19 PM
I like the second hand smoke effect of this weed. This is my favourite out of the recent bunch of smoke related subs that you wrote. Go to Comment
Drowsy Weed
Items  (Potion)   (Non-Magical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-23 09:09 PM
A good mundane item with "double-edge sword" properties. Go to Comment
Plague of Plagues
Items  (Other)   (Non-Magical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-23 09:07 PM
Out of this bunch, I like no 4 and 6 the most. The rest (except for no. 3) seems a bit too dark and nasty for me but overall this is still a sub with solid content and good write-up. Go to Comment
Lich Scroll
Items  (Books and Scrolls)   (Villanous)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-21 07:33 PM
Great story, dustyjohnson, and you just love to tease the readers, do you? Straight away, I wondered abt the entity or entities that stole the Lich Scroll from the God of Shadows. But then, that's obviously another story.

On the sub itself, it's pretty high quality as it is. It gives us a brief glimpse into the underlying grand world containing strives of different Gods etc. but is not bogged down by it but rather goes into the story of Calypso and Prima's stories which makes this piece a good legend to add colour to your world.

In terms of improving the sub, I would have liked a tiny bit more details on the circumstances for which the ritual failed for Umbra, even if it's just a phrase in brackets tacked on after "But Umbra lost his soul in the ritual...." saying sth like the success of the ritual really depended on the sacrificied lives being willing to offer up their own lives for a common goal and when the God of Shadows experimented it with Umbra, they didn't have that (I'm just giving an example here, you probably have your own take on this) Go to Comment
Drake Humblestaff
NPCs  (Campaign)   (Knowledge/Lore)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-20 07:55 PM
While I find Uncle Humblestaff to be an endearing NPC like SE, I voted lower than the previous 2 b/c of the following:
1. While I see this as a complete and solid piece of work, the bit abt the bard's brush with Humblestaff seems to me sort of abrupt and strange. I'm almost expecting the bard to have some secret agenda or sth but instead she just fades into the bg. I mean, I'm not disputing the validity of the story of Humblestaff as you've written it up- the bard could just be a 'nosy' or up-front sort of person who goes around expressing her frank opinion of everything. But somehow I can't shake the feeling that this might be a 'loose end' in the sub. Having said that, though, I don't think this is the decisive part that turns me away from a vote of 4.
2. This might be my own interpretation issue (if so, I'm happy to revote on this piece) but I see the popularity/value of Humblestaff in an adventuring party to be inconsistent with his skill sets. In particular, you said "Drake just didn't have what it took" which I took to be mean the following: Drake made enough progress to please his masters when he's learning things b/c he was diligent but he was basically just 'dumb' at them so that his masters think he really shouldn't aim to be any one of the typical adventurer classes. Is this what you meant to convey or do you want to say that he's not so 'dumb' at them but just that he would never be a master at any? If the latter, then that particular phrase I quoted is misleading.

Overall, I still like this sub and I hope you take my comments as constructive comments (they were meant to be). Go to Comment
Drake Humblestaff
NPCs  (Campaign)   (Knowledge/Lore)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-21 12:21 AM
Normally, I do not like "gods/goddesses behind the scenes" plots since I got sick and tired of them from reading fantasy trilogies from well-established authors but I actually quite like it in this instance b/c it's no longer all abt the titanic struggle b/w good and evil, just a tiny nudge that causes a rippling effect. Go to Comment
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Water)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-09 08:37 PM
I would personally throw sth like out as a stub but to each his own. Content-wise, there really isn't much since these are basically just substitutes for mermaids (hence why you say it's incomplete) but the prose of this piece is well-done as has always been with your work. One thing I think this piece would be great for is to serve as a lead-in to a more expanded piece that explores the sea-folk and other sea creatures. Go to Comment
Tortoise Shell Tavern
Locations  (Fortification)   (Any)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-19 10:49 PM
Although my vote is possibly quite close to those who've voted before me, I sort of disagree that this sub is being 'runined' b/c the backstory being too 'grand' in a sense and isolated from the actual location. But then I'm probably biased b/c this actually reminds me of my first sub (though of somewhat better quality I think) that came about purely from an accident that 'suffers' from the same problem: an item whose power is over-shadowed by the bg history of its maker. Go to Comment
Tortoise Shell Tavern
Locations  (Fortification)   (Any)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-20 04:38 AM
A good story (Hazel+Fjord+Lucy), I'm getting more into this whole set-up now whereas before I like this but more as a minor piece. Maybe write all of this up as a plot and have that as your second sub? Go to Comment
Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-08 11:01 PM
Update: User-created ideas additions done and now ready for voting!  Go to Comment
Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-08 11:02 PM
Combination Spells

These are spells derived from combining at least two of the Eight Symbols and are commonly known as Formations. They are all trigger spells in nature. All combination spells need to be balanced with respect to Yin-Yang. That is, both Yin and Yang aspects have to be present in a combination spell but it can be skewed towards either the Yang or the Yin. Depending on the spell’s purpose, Symbols are arranged* according to either the Creation/Destruction Cycle of Wu Xing or the Heavenly/Earth formations. The strongest combination spells are ones that combine all Eight Symbols, followed by ones that combine Five Symbols that belong to each of the Wu Xing elements.For all other combinations, it does not necessarily follow that spells utilising more of the Eight Symbols would be more powerful. Complexity of the combination spell is directly in proportion to the number of Symbols used to weave it but this does not hold for its power.

Some samples of Combination Spells:

1) The Formation of Ba Gua: This is a combination spell built on the basis of all of the Eight Symbols, with each of Symbols being arranged in accordance with either the Heavenly or Earth formation depending on its purpose. The Heaven Symbol is represented by a common pebble containing no traces of the Symbols if the formation is entirely powered by reservoir items. In addition, the casting of this particular spell is tied to specific times of the year. Depending on the purpose of the spell, these times change. This formation is a all-rounded spell and can be utilised for a variety of purposes such as to entrap but not harm,
for attack/defence as well as others (up to GM discretion).

2) The Formation of Wu Xing: This is built from five Symbols that correspond to each of the Five Elements (Wu Xing). Another all-rounded spell that makes up for its relative weakness when compared with the Formation of Bagua by not having the limitation of being tied to particular times of the year. In addition, this particular formation has the advantage of being self-perpetuating to an extent if arranged according to the Creation Cycle.

3) The Formation of Three Stars: An offensive spell maintained by three mages drawing on a distinct Symbol or if powered entirely by reservoir items, is composed of three sub-formations based on a single Symbol.

4)The Formation of Six Harmonies: Drawing on the six Symbols besides Heaven and Earth, this spell is a powerful cleanser of all negative effects in an area, including plague and evil influences.

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Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-08 11:09 PM
This System in the Dragon Empire setting 

Under Revamp! Ignore for now! 

This is a system of magic evolved from Tuner Wizardry. Practitioners (known as Geomancers) work solely with enchanted items containing elements of the Eight Symbols. In terms of combination spells, Geomancers set them up to be in accordance with the Bagua (an octagonal instrument used by these Geomancers), which designates a range of alternative formations that each of the Eight Symbols need to be arranged in to achieve a particular purpose.

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Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-09 11:11 PM
Val, are we on the same wavelength here? how come I have no idea what you meant by "the concept of the layout of rooms and architecture"? The only connotation I get from these wordings is in relation to buildings and if you are referring to the way I built up the concept for this particular type of magic, then I need more clarifications on what you have in mind.

As for examples, I see what you mean. I'll fix up the Eight Symbol section and add some actual spells (spell name+what it does) and fix up the current jumbled-up content on spell types interspersed with spell characteristics. Thanks for the suggestion. Go to Comment
Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-09 11:33 PM
Ah I see, you were referring to how Feng Shui works in real life. When I wrote this sub, I guess I was focusing more on the theory side of things rather than the practicals of how it works (through the placement of objects that you mentioned). I think I will add an extra section on the practicals, thanks for pointing it out. Go to Comment
Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-13 11:05 PM
Update: Will be updating this sub slowly (equivalent to 1/2 of a Symbol per day) since there's just so much to be done. 
For anyone interested in this sub, a re-group and expansion of content is forthcoming on the Eight Symbol section as well as the entire Practical Implementation section. Another likely update is an expansion on the Combination Spells.
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